08 July, 2011
Wheatgrass & Menstruation
Wheatgrass contains a number of nutrients that promote healthy blood, stimulate red blood cell production and affect menstrual bleeding. Anecdotally, some properties attributed to wheatgrass include regulating menstrual bleeding and flushing out menstrual blood clots from the uterus. As a detoxification agent, wheatgrass can change the odor of menstrual blood. Wheatgrass is considered non-toxic and can be readily grown and prepared at home as a nutritious juice or powder supplement.
Most commercially derived wheatgrass products are made from the sprouting cotyledons of the Triticum aestivum plant. Raw wheatgrass cannot be digested by people because it is too fibrous. As such, it must put into a special extractor that makes wheatgrass juice, or dried and ground into fine powder before being consumed. Wheatgrass is harvested at the “jointing stage,” when the plant reaches its greatest nutritional value, according to “Biochemistry of Human Nutrition.” It is considered a “super-food” because it contains a wide variety of nutrients, some of which can impact menstruation.
Nutrition of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass contains virtually the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. As such, it contains numerous antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, which have protective and repairing effects on blood and blood vessels. Further, it is rich in B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. Irregular menstrual cycles caused by malnourishment or deficiencies may be helped with wheatgrass supplementation because it is such a dense food source, according to “Nutrition and Public Health." According to “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition,” about 70 percent of wheatgrass consists of chlorophyll, which is similar in composition to human blood and has a variety of effects on it.
Wheatgrass for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
For those who experience heavy menstrual flow, wheatgrass can stimulate the production of red blood cells in bone marrow and reduce the risk of anemia, according to “Human Biochemistry and Disease.” Specifically, chlorophyll, folic acid and vitamin B12 all increase hemoglobin and red blood cell synthesis, which combat the negative effects of blood loss.
Wheatgrass Can Promote Menstrual Bleeding
The potassium and vitamin E in wheatgrass can cause relaxation and expansion of blood vessels and reduce the blood platelet cells' ability to aggregate and form clots. Consequently, blood pressure can drop, blood circulation can increase and the flow of menstrual blood can be heavier than normal until the body becomes accustomed to wheatgrass supplementation, according to “The New Healing Herbs.” Inflammatory processes may also temporarily flare up, which can aggravate PMS symptoms. Further, wheatgrass can have a cleaning or flushing-out affect on the uterus, which can shed old menstrual blood clots and add to the volume of blood loss.
Wheatgrass and Detoxification
Wheatgrass alkalizes the body, which means it reduces acidity. Alkaline blood and tissues deter the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms and can eliminate toxins. During detoxification, all body fluids and secretions, including menstrual blood, can develop offensive odors. After many days or weeks of detox, offensive body odors often disappear.
- “Biochemistry of Human Nutrition”; George Gropper; 2000
- “Nutrition and Public Health”; Sari Edelstein; 2006
- “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition”; Martha Stipanuk; 2006
- “Human Biochemistry and Disease”; Gerald Litwack; 2008
- “The New Healing Herbs”; Michael Castleman; 2010
- Alexandrum79/iStock/Getty Images